Local police departments participate in national drug take back day

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COLONIE, N.Y. – Residents of the Capital Region were emptying out their medicine cabinets Saturday all in a “National Take
Back Day” where people could get rid of their unwanted or unused
prescription drugs.

The
DEA and local police departments teamed up in an effort to get these
potentially dangerous controlled substances off the streets. 

The Colonie Police Department was one of the many locations across the
Capital Region where people can drop off their unwanted prescription drugs and they are dropping them off by the bagful.

“Just drop the whole thing in there you don't even have to take
it out of the bag”

Police say people are helping out law enforcement by
getting these potentially dangerous drugs out of the wrong hands.

“They're not there or readily available for children or friends in the house or
relatives that may have some type of an addiction and start looking for those
prescribed medications,” said one Colonie cop.
 

John Carman of Nassau made a stop to the Schodak Police Department on Saturday. 

“I put them all in a plastic bag but there's probably ten to twelve different
meds in there,” continued Carman, “I have a lot of nieces and nephews and i wouldnt want them to get their hands on
them. I figured this is the safest and quickest way to dispose of them.”

Officials
say prescription drug abuse has become an increasing problem in our
area. Last year Governor Cuomo signed the New York's new I-STOP
Initiative, enabling the state to track controlled substances, requiring
pharmacies to report prescription information to a monitoring system.

But,
law makers are not stopping there. Senator Charles Schumer last month urged the
DEA to change its regulations when it comes to prescription take back programs.

Currently,
the DEA has the authority to organize these events, which officials say are
infrequent and inconvenient. Senator Schumer is pushing the DEA to change its
policy and have take back or buy back programs at local pharmacies and qualified
anti-drug abuse organizations.

About
250 drop-off sites across the State participated in Saturday's take back event.
During the DEA's last take back event in April, about 370 tons of prescription
medications were collected across the country.

Once
the drugs are collected they will be boxed up like the ones right here and the
DEA will then take them to a facility to have them incinerated. 

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